Millennials and Gen Z continue to splurge on experiences rather than upgrades 

There never seems to be a shortage of research into travel habits of millennials and Generation Z, and the latest insight from New Horizons shows members of those age groups prefer to splurge on experiences rather than other traditional travel luxuries.


Summary:

  • New research into habits of millennial and Generation Z travellers shows they prefer to splurge on experiences rather than other traditional travel luxuries;
  • The insight from New Horizons is based on a 2017 survey of more than 57,000 individuals by WYSE Travel confederation;
  • It is five years since the previous WYSE Travel confederation survey and the findings show a 26% jump from 2012 in the level of activities the younger travellers undertake while at a destination;
  • New Horizon’s and WYSE’s research shows that Gen Z is on track to become the largest generation of travel consumers by 2020.

The new report, New Horizons IV: A global study of the youth and student traveller, was based on a survey conducted by WYSE Travel confederation every five years. For this edition more than 57,000 individuals responded to the survey from 188 countries and territories between Jun-2017 and Nov-2017.

Several travel trends for millennials and the Gen Z age group including a preference for experiential purchases. Thirty-seven percent of respondents were willing to spend extra money for food and drink experiences. “Traditional travel luxuries, such as airfare upgrades, were favoured least,” the report stated.

CHART – When the New Horizons Survey asked millennial and gen Z travellers what they were willing to splurge on during their trips, they were clear on their preference for experiential purchasesSource: New Horizons IV: A global study of the youth and student traveller

The survey also showed a 26% jump from 2012 in the level of activities young travellers undertake while at a destination. “Adding unique one of a kind experiential elements to the basic travel journey might be more productive than trying to develop premium travel products aimed a millennials,” the report concluded.

New Horizon’s and WYSE’s research shows that Gen Z is on track to become the largest generation of travel consumers by 2020, and the report stated travellers in that age group use OTAs and third party websites less. “The use of social media for information searching and booking is also likely to increase and morph as new channels emerge,” the report concluded.

New Horizons is the only recurring global survey of the youth, student and educational travel market. The aim of New Horizons is to provide an overview of the youth travel market, which WYSE Travel Confederation and UNWTO have estimated to account for 23% of international arrivals.